Saturday, January 24, 2009

Alert on Peanut Butter

As reported in Star Online, Government has placed all peanut butter from the United States on Level 5 alert following several salmonella-linked deaths there. Under Level 5, stringent tests would be carried out first to determine if the product are safe for consumption.

US authorities on Friday said seven people had died from a nationwide outbreak of salmonella associated with tainted peanut butter and paste sourced to the Peanut Corporation of America’s (PCA) plant in Blakely, Georgia. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified the bacterial strain as Salmonella Typhimurium.

Another 10 US firms Friday recalled products which use PCA peanut butter or paste -- bringing to roughly 360 the number of products affected -- as it emerged that the plant at the centre of the probe laid off most of its roughly 50 workers, US papers said.

The recalled products range from snack bars to crackers and pre-packaged meals and even pet food. But products containing peanuts not sourced from the PCA plant are deemed safe.

Companies that recently added foods to the FDA’s recall list include:

  • Ready Pac Foods, Inc.: Ready Pac Cool Cuts Celery with Peanut Butter; Trader Joe’s Celery with Peanut Butter; Eating Right Apples with Peanut Butter; Eating Right Celery with Peanut Butter.
  • NutriSystem Inc: Various lot codes of NutriSystem-branded Peanut Butter Granola Bars 1.41 ounces or 40 grams.
  • Premier Nutrition: Select TWISTED and TITAN branded nutrition bars that contain peanut butter. This recall includes Vanilla, Chocolate and Peanut Butter varieties of the TWISTED bar, as well as TWISTED bar variety packs in 15 and 24 count. Also TITAN bars, Chocolate Peanut Crunch variety.
  • Boca Grande Foods Inc. of Duluth, Ga., is recalling POCO PAC and GRANDE GOURMET peanut butter and peanut butter and jelly combination products.
  • Dinners Ready of Meridian, ID is recalling the Asian Marinated Flank Steak with Sesame Vegetable Stir Fry, Indonesian Chicken with Coconut Rice, and Chicken Satay & Bangkok Peanut Sauce with Jasmine Rice meals prepared from their November & December menus. The marinades used for the protein portions of the meals were made using peanut butter. The recall applies only to the protein portion that comes as part of the packaged dinners and not to the side dish or Bangkok Peanut sauce accompanying the meals.
  • Blanton’s Candies of Sweetwater, TN: Approximately 1,400 pounds of Blanton’s Peanut Butter Sticks packaged in 8 ounce cellophane bags.
  • Weis Markets: Two private label peanut butter sandwich crackers it sells under its Weis Quality label: Weis Quality (WQ) Cheese Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers, 11-ounce (UPC 41497-56442) and Weis Quality Toasted Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers 11-ounce (UPC 41497-56443).

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